I was followed while shopping and treated more of a potential shoplifter opposed to a customer. I contacted the store in regards to the incident and was made to feel as though it was my imagination.
The person told me that the stores one and only female loss prevention worker was not working that day. I was also told that they had no way of viewing the incident because no cameras are in that area. I visited the store In Waynesboro Virginia on 8/19/2014 to purchase a inexpensive printer and some packaging material. When I entered the store I went directly to the electronics dept.
and came upon an associate he directed me to the section and when I did not see anything that I thought fitted my needs I continued on to another display. While viewing the display I saw a copier that I was interested in but had a question about and a passing associate helped me and found an electronics associate that assisted me in choosing a copier. I also need some additional items and he directed me to the correct aisle and I continued to shop. In the aisle I sat down the copier and found the correct size of boxes that I needed and laid them on top of the copier (5) 12 x 11 1/2 boxes, I also needed a taller box but did not know the exact height.
While checking the other boxes sizes I open the box on its end to view the size, this is where its printed. Unsure if this was tall enough I took my phone from my pocket and went to the internet sight to find the measurements. While doing this a middle age shopper came into the aisle as I was standing there and began moving the taller box from against the shelving. I stated that's mine, I realized at that time she was interested in the shelf as when she moved the box as she expected something to be there as though as I had put the box there to hide something.
At that point she asked what I was doing and I explained to her that I was researching the dimensions of the size of a box needed for packaging an item. At this point in time it became evident that she was apart of loss prevention. My point is at no time after it was evident that I was shopping did she leave she continued to look along the shelving moving boxes even at one point took a very large box from the shelf continuing on with her ruse of being a shopper and placing it in a cart. Once I realized who and what she was I finished gathering the other items needed and left the aisle.
I continued on with my shopping and asked another associate about any other boxes that may be larger. I was directed and led to the area were online orders are picked up, and was told that these boxes could possibly suit me besides they were free. I found a few boxes that I could use, so I left the area and intentionally drifted back towards the aisle I was previously in and as I passed it The box that was removed by the loss prevention officer that she was using as her prop was back in place. The box that she used was quite large so it was really noticeable.
This is far from the first time that I have had an incident in this store in regards to being followed or particular attention being paid to me. I am not the first ethnic person that has experienced this because it continues daily. There is no reason that any person should be made to feel uncomfortable while spending their money. If this is policy then it should have a big disclaimer sign on the front doors explaining that if you choose to dress a certain way or if you do not fit a particular description you will be made to feel uncomfortable during your visit to our establishment.
I truly feel that I myself as well as countless numbers of others are profiled daily in this store as well as other. I feel like its necessary to not make any sudden moves that can be interpreted as possibly suspect. Is it really need to walk through the store with your hands in the air. Not to reach in your pocket or purse for a cellphone or possibly pat your pocket to make sure you haven't forgotten your money or wallet.
Nor should you spend to much time trying to find what you may need or after backtrack in the store because you may have forgot something.
It's harsh enough living in the world with the stereotypes but its even worse when you go to an establishment and have an encounter as such but it's okay when you go to the counter and pay for your items to help make this corporation rich.
Preferred solution: I want an apology and that noticeable changes to be made..